Tin Fork

Sip, nibble, sip as you watch the world go by

Man, this place has atmosphere

Four men sit heads-down in the middle of a card game. Two of them hold dead cigars in their card hand. They’re speaking Italian. “What’s the game?” “Scopa,” says the gent with the merry face. ...

Taco joint at the Hotel Del?

“Better hurry, they close at sunset.”

I’m standing staring out to sea along with maybe fifty people here where the Del segues into beach. We’re on the brink of sunset. And what a sunset. For sure, it’s the wildfires causing it. ...

Rib tips are beckoning

“I just do this for a hobby.”

What is going on up here? This is Chollas View-Mount Hope. Guess I’ve been looking for ribs in all the wrong places, heh heh. We’re talking Market Street in the 4200 area. Trundling east in ...

All I can say is, lavish!

I waddle out, a couple of pounds heavier.

I swear. Thought I knew Barrio Logan. I’m wandering down Beardsley to where it gets more industrial. Right where Newton Avenue crosses, by Perkins Elementary School, I spot a sandwich board. Huh. A kind of ...

Poke power

I need some of the pure protein tuna has. Not greasy cheeseburgers.

Are we running out of tuna? Standing here in Poke Etc, in the middle of National City’s Highland View Center, I’m starting to wonder. Little signs on the counter say they’re going to have to ...

A beautifully angry cauldron of tastes

“We are all Issan here.”

To understand a cuisine, you’ve got to look around. That is, look at the countryside of an area. Like Issan cooking. These people live in the not -so-fertile crescent of Thailand’s northeast. The land doesn’t ...

To beat hunger and heat in El Centro

Cathy brings my mollete, and boy, for $2.85, it’s a lot

‘Cher was born here,” says Sonny. “Right, Lawrence?” Lawrence lifts up his aristocratic, bloodhound-wrinkled face and nods. “Her dad was a truck driver.” We’re standing in the muggy heat of an El Centro Greyhound depot. ...

Mold gold

This is the best danged torta I can ever remember eating.

It’s black. It’s a fungus. It’s a disease. It’s delicious. I know because I’m sinking my fangs into a torta that’s drooling with it: huitlacoche. That’s a Nahuatl name meaning “sleeping excrescence.” It grows on ...

Haggis: bad, Nessy burgers: good

A nap and a Scottish piper wailing in the heather would go down well right now

"You can see forever!” says Mag. We’ve just got out of her car. Wind sifts up from the San Luis Rey river, snaking through the valley below. Interstate 15 swoops towards us like a gigantic ...

People look up to Syrian food

Competition among Middle East restaurants around here is intense.

People look up to Syrian food

Gluten-free duck

So next night, here I am again, staring across at their come-hither lights

Gluten-free duck

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